MOUNT CRAWFORD 2339m 7675′
This is a short hike. One of the funnier trip reports involved this paragraph: “Dave Cunningham did not enjoy this trip. Dave said there wasn’t any more elevation gain than a trip to the flagpole. A trip for which he would not have to get up so early. He even called me a “Fred” for making him meet in Nelson at 05:15 to catch the early ferry, but I don’t know if that was an insult. Dave Mitchell
To avoid complaints about shortness, combine this with a trip to Plaid Lake and the dam at the north end, the green cone above Plaid Lake or UN 7634. Mt Crawford is still a worthy ascent with great views down to Kootenay Lake.
Location: 9kms due east of Riondel & 4kms due east of Bluebell Mt
Elevation gain: 240m (if walk last 1.3kms of road) + 314m (1030′) gain; 336m (1103′) loss
Key elevations: Start of rough road 1580m (5184′); TH 1820m (5970’); High point trail 2134m (7000’); Summit 2339m 7675′: Plaid Lake 1798m (5897’)
Time: 1.5 hours one-way
Access: last 1.3kms 4WD HC LR
Season: June through October
Map: 82F/15 Kaslo 82F/10 Crawford Bay
0.0 From the Kootenay Bay Ferry terminal on the east shore of Kootenay Lake, drive Hwy 3A uphill
1.1km Go right. Left goes to Riondel.
4.7km Enter village of Crawford Bay. Just after the gas station (between the motel and church), turn left (north) onto Wadds Road.
From Creston (junction of 3A and 3), drive Hwy 3A north along the east shore of Kootenay Lake. Zero odometer at the Grey Creek Store.
0.0 Continue north on Hwy 3A.
5.9km Cross Crawford Creek. 7km Pass Dandelion Market in Crawford Bay
7.6km Turn right (north) onto Wadds Road (between the motel and the church). Zero odometer.
0.0 Start north on Wadds Road. 1.3km Go straight. (right goes to Kokanee Springs Golf Course.
2.6km T junction. Go left onto Crawford Creek Road.
4.7km Go straight past the transfer station. Pavement ends. Go right on Crawford Creek FSR.
10.2km At junction, go left. (right is to Crawford-Hooker FSR)
11.3km Go left on Crawford-Spring FSR (brown sign with a hiker). Just before the 16km sign, the road become steeper and rougher.
16km Park before very rough road 4WD HC (climbs 240m in 1.3km to TH).
17.3km TH 1820m (5970’)
Trail/Route: Start NW in the subalpine. Climb quickly and reach views of the West Arm after 30 minutes. Mt Crawford is visible to the north, Old Tom is SE and Sphinx is further south. Crawford Bay and the golf course are below. At 2.4km reach the trail’s high point 2134m (7000’), the saddle, on the SW spur of Mt Crawford. Turn right and ascend the rocky, but easy ridge. Views are expansive.
Descend all the way down to the lake (Plaid Lake is lower than the trailhead). The intermittent path reaches Plaid Lake at 4.5km – 1798m (5897’).
What to do?
1. Hike down to Plaid Lake to the north end of the lake to the lake’s outlet to visit the rock dam (planned to be removed in 2016). Read the history of the dam in the following post.
2. Communication Repeater. Retrace way to the saddle on the NW side of Mt Crawford where a faint trail leads right (SW) .6km across the drainage to a ridge 2134m (7000′) with Crawford Bay visible below. Turn right to scramble up to the green cone at 2195m (7200′). Views are to Pilot Peninsula and most of the lake.